Fitbit updates Sense and Versa 3: Google Assistant, answer phone calls, and more

With this latest update to Fitbit's watches, there is no longer a reason for me to search for a preferred Google Wear OS smartwatch. Google Assistant, receive phone calls on the watch, more blood oxygen options, and voice text messaging take the Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 to the next level.

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I used the Fitbit Sense for a solid month and then spent the last few weeks with several other new wearables as I evaluated which device would be best for me. With today's news from Fitbit, the Sense jumped to the top of my list and will be worn as my primary wearable for the foreseeable future.

When Fitbit added integrated GPS to the Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 I was very excited to have one of my primary desires back on a Fitbit wearable. However, I still preferred other wearables due to their more complete user experience and am pleased to see Fitbit now directly challenge Google's Wear OS watches with an ecosystem that is much more expansive and exciting for users.

Also: Fitbit Sense review: Advanced health and wellness tracking, GPS, and coaching

Fitbit OS 5.1 updates

In November 2019 we saw Fitbit release the OS 4.1 update that added several new features to the platform. Since then we have also seen a significant increase in the number of applications and watch faces available for Fitbit devices.

Fitbit announced the following new features that will be available soon for the Fitbit Sense and Versa 3. These new features and improvements include:

  • Automatic SpO2 readings at night: Fitbit is enabling SpO2 tracking on the backend, which means smartwatch users will no longer be required to use a special clock face to measure their blood oxygen levels.
  • New SpO2 clock faces: For those users who prefer to see their SpO2 levels at-a-glance, Fitbit is introducing seven new SpO2 clock faces to the App Gallery by the end of the year.
  • Google Assistant: Users now have the ability to choose from either Alexa or Google Assistant as their preferred voice assistant. This is the first time a smartwatch has offered a built-in choice between either assistant. You do need to tap on the Google Assistant icon to launch the app or you can do what I did and set up the press and hold function of the button to launch Google Assistant.
  • Audible Replies with Amazon Alexa: If you prefer to use Alexa, the assistant will now respond back to you with audible replies using the smartwatch's built-in speaker.
  • Receive calls: Users can now use their smartwatch's built-in speaker and microphone to answer calls directly from your wrist when your phone is nearby. Later this month, a new app update will allow for even more seamless call answering for Android users.
  • Respond to text messages with your voice: Android users are able to do even more, including responding to text messages on-the-go with voice-to-text commands.

It's pretty clear that Android users will see the most benefit from these updates. I am most excited about Google Assistant, call support, and text message response with my voice. I will post an article on the functionality of these updates and make sure to reflect these significant improvements in my Fitbit Sense review so stay tuned for more.

Black Friday deals

As we approach Black Friday, Fitbit provided news that four of its latest devices will be available with savings ranging from $20 to $50. Black Friday pricing that will be available at Fitbit.com will be as follows. Reduced prices on the Inspire 2, Charge 4, and Ace 2 are available now in advance of Black Friday.

  • Fitbit Sense: $279.95
  • Fitbit Versa 3: $199.95
  • Fitbit Inspire 2: $69.95
  • Fitbit Charge 4: $99.95
  • Fitbit Ace 2: $49.95

$50 off the Fitbit Sense and $30 off the Versa 3 are great deals that let you then take that savings and pick up one of the alternative cool bands that are available from Fitbit.

What is your favorite new feature? Will this update convince you to make the Fitbit Sense or Versa 3 your primary smartwatch?